Has anyone been watching Happy Valley on BBC1 and not found themselves quite traumatised by it?
I found the opening ten minutes of the third episode genuinely shocking with the demise of the young female police officer. Not in a narrow mouthed viewer just waiting for a reason to complain way but in an involuntary hand to mouth in horror way. Episodes four and five were of a similar calibre, shocking and compelling. I cannot recall watching a programme which came with a 'sensitive viewer' warning that I took any notice of, but these episodes have depicted the purest badness that exists in some people.
Crime drama's are generally either a tame 60-90mins where you know the baddie will get found out or over the top blood and gorefests trying to score yuk points. Sally Wainwright's writing is often uncompromising small town, character centred drama but the acts of violence in this seem conversely more shocking by their understated nature. Even though you know the situations are going badly I've found quite viscerally horrible and the emotions around the characters painful to watch. It's hard to believe she also wrote Last Tango in Halifax and I feel for any poor soul who has tuned in looking for a gentle drama as they are probably needing counselling now.
It will be a hard series to end powerfully so I am torn between being on tenterhooks waiting for tonight's final episode and wondering if I'm too old to watch it from behind the sofa!